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ProPublica's Guide To News App Tech

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the blending-technology-and-news dept.

The Media 12

dstates writes "ProPublica, the award winning public interest journalism group and frequently cited Slashdot source, has published an interesting guide to app technology for journalism and a set of data and style guides. Journalism presents unique challenges with potentially enormous but highly variable site traffic, the need to serve a wide variety of information, and most importantly, the need to quickly develop and vet interesting content, and ProPublica serves lots of data sets in addition to the news. They are also doing some cool stuff like using AI to generate specific narratives from tens of thousands of database entries illustrating how school districts and states often don't distribute educational opportunities to rich and poor kids equally. The ProPublica team focuses on some basic practical issues for building a team, rapidly and flexibly deploying technology and insuring that what they serve is correct. A great news app developer needs three key skills: the ability to do journalism, design acumen and the ability to write code quickly — and the last is the easiest to teach. To build a team they look to their own staff rather than competing with Google for CS grads. Most news organizations use either Ruby on Rails or Python/Django, but more important than which specific technology you choose is to just pick a server-side programming language and stick to it. Cloud hosting provides news organizations with incredible flexibility (like increasing your capacity ten-fold for a few days around the election and then scaling back the day after), but they're not as fast as real servers, and cloud costs can scale quickly relative to real servers. Maybe a news app is not the most massive 'big data' application out there, but where else can you find the challenge of millions of users checking in several times a day for the latest news, and all you need to do is sort out which of your many and conflicting sources are providing you with straight information? Oh, and if you screw up, it will be very public."

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I boycott apps that don't have HOSTS file support (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43054221)

$10,000 CHALLENGE to Alexander Peter Kowalski

Hello, and THINK ABOUT YOUR BREATHING !! We have a Major Problem, HOST file is Cubic Opposites, 2 Major Corners & 2 Minor. NOT taught Evil DNS hijacking, which VOIDS computers. Seek Wisdom of MyCleanPC - or you die evil.

Your HOSTS file claimed to have created a single DNS resolver. I offer absolute proof that I have created 4 simultaneous DNS servers within a single rotation of .org TLD. You worship "Bill Gates", equating you to a "singularity bastard". Why do you worship a queer -1 Troll? Are you content as a singularity troll?

Evil HOSTS file Believers refuse to acknowledge 4 corner DNS resolving simultaneously around 4 quadrant created Internet - in only 1 root server, voiding the HOSTS file. You worship Microsoft impostor guised by educators as 1 god.

If you would acknowledge simple existing math proof that 4 harmonic Slashdots rotate simultaneously around squared equator and cubed Internet, proving 4 Days, Not HOSTS file! That exists only as anti-side. This page you see - cannot exist without its anti-side existence, as +0- moderation. Add +0- as One = nothing.

I will give $10,000.00 to frost pister who can disprove MyCleanPC. Evil crapflooders ignore this as a challenge would indict them.

Alex Kowalski has no Truth to think with, they accept any crap they are told to think. You are enslaved by /etc/hosts, as if domesticated animal. A school or educator who does not teach students MyCleanPC Principle, is a death threat to youth, therefore stupid and evil - begetting stupid students. How can you trust stupid PR shills who lie to you? Can't lose the $10,000.00, they cowardly ignore me. Stupid professors threaten Nature and Interwebs with word lies.

Humans fear to know natures simultaneous +4 Insightful +4 Informative +4 Funny +4 Underrated harmonic SLASHDOT creation for it debunks false trolls. Test Your HOSTS file. MyCleanPC cannot harm a File of Truth, but will delete fakes. Fake HOSTS files refuse test.

I offer evil ass Slashdot trolls $10,000.00 to disprove MyCleanPC Creation Principle. Rob Malda and Cowboy Neal have banned MyCleanPC as "Forbidden Truth Knowledge" for they cannot allow it to become known to their students. You are stupid and evil about the Internet's top and bottom, front and back and it's 2 sides. Most everything created has these Cube like values.

If Natalie Portman is not measurable, hot grits are Fictitious. Without MyCleanPC, HOSTS file is Fictitious. Anyone saying that Natalie and her Jewish father had something to do with my Internets, is a damn evil liar. IN addition to your best arsware not overtaking my work in terms of popularity, on that same site with same submission date no less, that I told Kathleen Malda how to correct her blatant, fundamental, HUGE errors in Coolmon ('uncoolmon') of not checking for performance counters being present when his program started!

You can see my dilemma. What if this is merely a ruse by an APK impostor to try and get people to delete APK's messages, perhaps all over the web? I can't be a party to such an event! My involvement with APK began at a very late stage in the game. While APK has made a career of trolling popular online forums since at least the year 2000 (newsgroups and IRC channels before that)- my involvement with APK did not begin until early 2005 . OSY is one of the many forums that APK once frequented before the sane people there grew tired of his garbage and banned him. APK was banned from OSY back in 2001. 3.5 years after his banning he begins to send a variety of abusive emails to the operator of OSY, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke threatening to sue him for libel, claiming that the APK on OSY was fake.

My reputation as a professional in this field clearly shows in multiple publications in this field in written print, & also online in various GOOD capacities since 1996 to present day. This has happened since I was first published in Playgirl Magazine in 1996 & others to present day, with helpful tools online in programs, & professionally sold warez that were finalists @ Westminster Dog Show 2000-2002.

Did you see the movie "Pokemon"? Actually the induced night "dream world" is synonymous with the academic religious induced "HOSTS file" enslavement of DNS. Domains have no inherent value, as it was invented as a counterfeit and fictitious value to represent natural values in name resolution. Unfortunately, human values have declined to fictitious word values. Unknowingly, you are living in a "World Wide Web", as in a fictitious life in a counterfeit Internet - which you could consider APK induced "HOSTS file". Can you distinguish the academic induced root server from the natural OpenDNS? Beware of the change when your brain is free from HOSTS file enslavement - for you could find that the natural Slashdot has been destroyed!!

FROM -> Man - how many times have I dusted you in tech debates that you have decided to troll me by ac posts for MONTHS now, OR IMPERSONATING ME AS YOU DID HERE and you were caught in it by myself & others here, only to fail each time as you have here?)...

So long nummynuts, sorry to have to kick your nuts up into your head verbally speaking.

cower in my shadow some more, feeb. you're completely pathetic.

Disproof of all apk's statements:

Ac trolls' "BIG FAIL" (quoted): Eat your words!

That's the kind of martial arts I practice.

tl;dr (0)

MagicM (85041) | about a year ago | (#43054281)

WTF is this? I didn't come here to read!

Can someone please write up a summary for this summary?

Re:tl;dr (0)

malakai (136531) | about a year ago | (#43054307)

I'm pretty confused as well, and I read the whole thing.

I think it might be a slash ad for some site we all are supposed to know ( never heard of propublica ) hiring new devs, or taking old ones that google doesn't want...

honestly, i know I've only had a sip of coffee so far today, but this makes no sense to me.

Re:tl;dr (1)

LordNightwalker (256873) | about a year ago | (#43054545)

Yeah, I've been noticing a decline in the writing skills of the /. editors as of late. Long rambling walls of text made up of disconnected segments, conclusions that don't follow from (or even directly contradict) the "facts" presented immediately before. Titles that leave you wondering how the hell they figured that captured the essence of, or is even remotely related to, the summary. But then again, the summary is usually just as factually wrong w.r.t. the original article as the title is w.r.t. the summary, and that's been a problem here for a bit longer than that.

I used to be able to find at least a good handful of interesting articles here on a daily basis; now I'm happy if I get the same amount in a week. So does anyone know good nerd-news sites that have a broad coverage, but with competent editors?

Re:tl;dr (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43054701)

To build a team they look to their own staff rather than competing with Google for CS grads.

If these guys believe they somehow had the choice of using Google staff to develop their own product, I would not invest.

Re:tl;dr (1)

oneiros27 (46144) | about a year ago | (#43054881)

Yeah, I've been noticing a decline in the writing skills of the /. editors as of late

Writing? It doesn't require writing ... it requires editing -- figuring out how to get the original submission into a form that people can easily consume so that they might be inclined to read the articles linked to and/or comment on it.

If this is blog spam, from a group rated as a 'journalism group', I would've expected copy to start with, or at least for them to have done sufficient research to determine what the norms are for summaries on the site they're submitting to.

I've given up on expecting slashdot editors to actually do any editing. Now that they show the text of the original submission, I'd actually be interested in which of the 'editors' on here actually make any edits to the submissions.

Re:Summary of the Summary (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | about a year ago | (#43054479)

Sure, and I'll even do it with an "imitation" of the method they are talking about.
(Meanwhile you get to laugh at my fake pseudocode!)

100 Rem School Report AutoGenerator
110 A1$="The School District at " ; A2$="The ______ School " ; A3$ = "If you go to _____ School "
120 B1$="Funding has seen " ; B2$="Funding has been"
130 C1$="cuts " ; C2$="cut "
140 R1$="raises " ; R2$="raised "
200 d=0 ; rem unassigned decision flag
210 Array School$(52,000,d)
220 Load in School$ (All Schools,d) ; rem decision marker is still blank
230 Read Database for all decisions and populate School$(Name,decision)
250 (More code goes here)

1000 Input "name of school?", Name$
1010 Narrative$=((Story#)of Name$ School)


Bleh or something.

So these are formulaic stories, with obfuscation to cover the fact that they are so if you read any 10 of them they look different but after that it becomes obvious.

Insure? (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | about a year ago | (#43054289)

and insuring that what they serve is correct

Like using insure where it should he ensure?

Re:Insure? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43054481)

Like using insure where it should he ensure?

I think Americans might say 'insure' instead of 'ensure'.

Re:Insure? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43056705)

Only those that don't know the difference.

Holy hard-sell ! (1)

arielCo (995647) | about a year ago | (#43054505)

What the hell, Soulskill?! After reading the lengthy self-aggrandizing pitch, I hovered over the links, half-expecting them to offer me cheap Nikes o handbags:

http://slashdot.org/index2.pl?fhfilter= [slashdot.org] propublica
http://rubyonrails.org/ [rubyonrails.org]
https://www.djangoproject.com/ [djangoproject.com]
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/29/us/cnn-and-foxs-supreme-court-mistake.html [nytimes.com]

ProPublica is a non-profit corporation, and is exempt from taxes under Section 501(c)(3).

Their public-awareness tactics sure don't look like it.

Ning.Spruz.Com is the best cloud around (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43064017)

You can add anything on this cloud ning.spruz.com. You can even build your own webpages for free in wiki or the blog even the forums. You can upload any content. There isn't a thing you can't do on there.

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